A laser induced breakdown spectroscopic (LIBS) system was developed using a 266 nm laser and a high-resolution spectrograph (Andor SR 500 i-A) to detect the trace levels of the highly toxic metals such as lead and chromium present in different brands of talcum powder available in the local market. The strongest atomic transition lines of lead (Pb) (405.7 nm) and chromium (Cr) (425.4 nm) were used as spectral markers to simultaneously detect lead and chromium. The LIBS system was calibrated for these two heavy metals, and the system was able to detect 15–20 parts per million (ppm) of lead and 20–30 ppm of chromium in the talcum powder sample. The limits of detection of the LIBS system were also estimated, and they are 1.96 and 1.72 ppm per million respectively for lead and chromium. This study is highly significant due to the use of cosmetic products that could affect the health of millions of people around the globe.
© 2012 Optical Society of America
Atomic and Molecular Physics
Original Manuscript: July 2, 2012
Revised Manuscript: August 30, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: September 5, 2012
Published: October 19, 2012
Mohammed A. Gondal, Mohamed A. Dastageer, Akhtar A. Naqvi, Anvar A. Isab, and Yasin W. Maganda, "Detection of toxic metals (lead and chromium) in talcum powder using laser induced breakdown spectroscopy," Appl. Opt. 51, 7395-7401 (2012)